Top Commercial Products: EdgeStar Medical Freezer Update

EdgeStar Medical Freezer Open

I’ve already talked about many of the reasons the EdgeStar CMF151L medical freezer is great for commercial use in my first post on the unit, and now I have an exciting update.

Florida has recently passed a bill aimed at allowing Floridians to receive vaccinations for Shingles and pneumonia.  This bill is being called the “Access to Vaccines” bill and has ramped up demand for vaccines to be stored in Florida pharmacies.  Read more about this breaking news in the pharmaceutical world here.

To house these vaccines for periods of time, a medical/vaccine freezer is needed.  That is where Living Direct, with the help from EdgeStar comes in to play.  Leading pharmacies are gearing up to administer these vaccines and have called upon Living Direct to provide them with these specialized freezers, which get down to the critical temperature of -20°C.

If you work for a pharmacy that offers or will be offering these vaccines, we would love to work with you on providing the proper storage.

Ryan is the head of Business Sales for Living Direct. If you are interested in learning more about any of our commercial products or wish to make a bulk purchase from our site, you can reach Ryan at 1-800-297-6076 or contact him through this form.

Top 5 Mother’s Day Gifts

Happy Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is around the corner, but let’s skip the Hallmark card this year and give a gift that Mom deserves. Well, on second though, don’t skip the card — we know how sentimental they can be. But card or not, we have picked out five of our best-selling items, all perfect for Mother’s Day gifting.

Koldfront TWR4BL Wine Cooler1. Koldfront 4 Bottle Wine Cooler

Once considered to be a luxury item, the wine cooler is quickly becoming a staple in the home kitchen. For those with limited kitchen space, or those that just don’t want to take up a lot of space, the Koldfront 4 bottle wine fridge is the perfect wine cooler with its sleek, compact design. This wine fridge utilizes thermoelectric cooling technology so there’s no need for a compressor, allowing for super quiet operation.

 

Margaritaville Margarita Maker2. Margaritaville Fiji Frozen Concoction Maker

Get ready for BBQ season with the Margaritaville margarita machine. The ultimate drink maker, this machine can help you conjure up the tastiest of concoctions, including margaritas and daiquiris for the adults or healthy fruit smoothies for the kids. Perfect for a party or tailgating, this frozen drink maker holds enough ice to make 2.5 pitchers worth of your favorite drink with each use. It is the perfect gift for a mom that loves to entertain!

 

Cuisinart Espresso Maker3. Cuisinart Espresso Maker

Try out a double espresso, luscious cappuccino or spiced latte cafe style in the comfort and convenience of your own home. The Cuisinart espresso maker features a classic stainless steel design, cup-warming plate on top and a removable drip tray and cover for easy cleanup. This is one luxury that will make any mom feel special on Mother’s Day and everyday after that they get to wake up and enjoy this great gift.

 

Hugs for Mom Gift Basket4. Hugs for Mom Gift Basket

Made with moms in mind, this adorable, white picket fence planter is filled with wildflower honey, Ernest Hemingway Highland Select tea, lemon cookies, a bath sachet with salts, a votive candle, body glistening spray, a ceramic picture frame and more! This gourmet gift basket will bring a smile to any mother’s face by letting her know that she is being thought of, and the included picture frame will let her show off her gift (and who gave it to her) to others.

 

KitchenAid Stand Mixer5. KitchenAid Artisan Series Stand Mixer

The iconic KitchenAir stand mixer is something a mom’s kitchen should never be without. Renowned the world over for its quality and versatility, KitchenAid stand mixers have been and continue to remain a favorite of bakers, cooks, chefs and most important culinary artists of all — moms! The beautiful red colors of this specific stand mixer will serve as a great reminder of the love shared between her and gift giver.

 

What will you be getting your mom for Mother’s Day?

 

Bright Ideas for Camping: Part 2

Here is the second installment of our camping gear series. You can check out part 1 right here. If you’re getting the itch to go camping, then keep reading as we offer even more items that will make your camping trip go smoothly and a lot more fun.

Be sure to share your best camping tips in the comments.

Peak Car Battery Tester5. Peak 12V Car Battery Tester

The must-have diagnostic tool for checking your car’s battery charge is the Peak 12V car battery tester. This battery tester can help prevent you from being stranded with a dead battery, which is never a good thing, camping or otherwise. The Peak 12V car battery tester comes with these great features:

- Checks battery, engine and alternator charge
- Fits in any 12V cigarette lighter socket
- Takes up very little space

Fagor Cast Aluminum Griddle6. Fagor Cast Aluminum Griddle

If you are a fan of taking a cast skillet camping, you will love the Fagor cast aluminum griddle. Like a cast skillet, the Fagor griddle is easy to clean and can withstand high temperatures. The extended cooking surface area is great for cooking bacon, sausages and burgers. Here are some other reasons why the Fagor cast aluminum griddle is great for camping:

- Cook over the campfire or over a stove, can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees F
- Cook-and-serve convenience
- Easy to clean and use

Yakima Bike Hitch7. Yakima BigHorn 4-Bike Hitch

A bike hitch is a great way to free up more storage space in your car and trunk. It also means that you won’t have to drive your car anywhere once at the campgrounds, you can bike if you need to go anywhere. This Yakima bike hitch is a great value with a lifetime warranty. Some of its features include:

- Patented anti-sway bike cradles prevent bike-to-bike contact
- Lifetime warranty
- Has wheel straps for added security

Peak Jump Starter8. Peak Jump Starter / Inflator & 12V Power Source

This Peak jump starter is a great buy with all of the additional features allowing you to simultaneously use other electronics, including cellphones, MP3 players and radios. It’s suitable for use in cars, trucks, boats, RVs, motorcycles and snowmobiles. This jump starter features:

- A USB outlet & AC outlet
- Three LED worklights
- Two 12 Volt power outlets

EdgeStar Portable Fridge Freezer9. EdgeStar 43 Quart Portable Fridge / Freezer

This EdgeStar portable fridge freezer will save you the cost of buying bags of ice for each camping trip. The Fast Freeze button is an amazing feature that allows you to cool the contents down super quickly. The freezer can also be used to store your day’s catch if you want to go fishing while camping. This unit also has:

- Digital thermostat that is adjustable from -8-50 degrees F
- Cool warm beverages down quickly with the Fast Freeze button
- Uses either AC or DC power

 

What other appliances do you like to have while camping?

Bright Ideas for Camping: Part 1

camping

Spring weather tends to draw us back to the desire to go out and enjoy nature. Even if just for a weekend, time spent immersed in nature’s glory allows us to recharge for the upcoming week and enjoy quality time with friends and family. Living Direct offers many compact appliances and other products that are perfect for your outdoor travel adventures. These products make great additions to your camping equipment supply.

Be sure to share your best camping tips in the comments!

EdgeStar mini Kegerator1. EdgeStar Mini Kegerator

Nature lovers are doing more to practice “Leave No Trace” camping. This portable mini kegerator is an easy way to avoid the task of storing, carrying and cleaning up multiple cans and bottles. As an added bonus, you can rest assured that it will be easy to make friends with your neighbors at your campsite. The EdgeStar mini kegerator’s highlights include:

- Electronic temperature controls
- Compact size
- AC/DC power compatibility

Peak 30 LED Rechargeable Worklight2. Peak 30 LED Rechargeable Worklight

This flashlight’s affordable price, flexible design and durability make it a must-have for outdoor expeditions. The Peak 30 LED rechargeable worklight has an integrated hook making it great for hanging from a tree or inside of your tent. Powerful LED lighting technology and the thought of no disposable batteries is a win-win for me. The highlights of the Peak rechargeable worklight include:

- 8 hours of continuous use on a single charge
- An ultra strong magnet and 360 degree swivel hook for hanging, mounting or both
- An LED flashlight tip that lets you direct light when you don’t need all 30 LEDs

Peak Power Inverter & Charger3. Peak 150 Watt Cup Power Inverter

While it is nice to unplug from technology while camping, who’s to say that you can’t have your mobile phones, cameras and other electronic devices charged up and ready on the way home. With two USB ports and two AC outlets, you can charge two electronic devices, a mattress pump and a camera simultaneously. The Peak power inverter is a great choice for camping because:

- Can charge four electronic devices at the same time
- Includes two USB ports and two standard 3-prong AC outlets
- Has a secure, sleep and compact cup-like design

ShelterLogic Popup Canopy4. ShelterLogic Popup Canopy

This canopy is easy to use and provides relief from the elements; whether it’s the sun shining or a bit of rain. A truly high-quality item with drip-free seams and anti-fungal agents, the ShelterLogic 10×10 popup canopy is the perfect complement to a relaxing day camping. The features that make this canopy great are:

- Quick and easy set up
- Sealed with water proof tape for drip-free seams
- Canopy made of patented fade blockers and anti-fungal agents

 

Part 2 of our Bright Ideas for Camping series can be found here!

It’s Wedding Season: What to Give the Happy Couple

White Wedding Gift

If you’re anything like me, your fridge tends to be covered in “save the date” postcards this time of year. And while I’m excited to spend my summer celebrating my friends’ and family’s wedded bliss, I’m kind of freaked out about what to get the Mr. and Mrs. (there are 5 couples!)

Then I realized that I work for a company that sells appliances for smaller living spaces. Putting that into the equation, along with the fact that my friends getting married are just starting out and buying their first homes, I knew I was golden. So without further hesitation, I give you my top five wedding gift recommendations.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer1. KitchenAid Stand Mixer

If the couple you’re buying for doesn’t already have one these, I’m willing to bet that they want one (and it’s on their gift registry). This thing is a kitchen essential for people who like to bake or cook. It comes with attachments for preparing homemade pasta, ice cream, fruit juice and, of course, mixing among other things.

I’m getting this for the people that treat me like their child and have me over for dinner every now and then. I figure the menu will only expand once they get my gift…

Nesco Roaster2. Nesco 6 Qt. Stainless Steel Roaster

I have some friends that practically live at restaurants and seem to have never used their kitchen but swear they want to learn to cook. I’m getting them this roaster. Call it a crock pot, a slow cooker, a roaster – whatever you want, but this thing is the perfect tool for those aspiring to cook.

It goes like this: buy food, put in cooker, set cooker and voila! Dinner is ready when you get home from work. This is the perfect gateway cooking device!

EdgeStar Mini Kegerator3. EdgeStar Deluxe Mini Kegerator

One of the couples is having an open bar at their wedding, so naturally, the mini kegerator is a perfect wedding gift for them. They like to entertain and the groom is a bit of a beer snob. And for the nights they’re not entertaining, it can easily be placed in a closet due to its compact size.

The mini kegerator holds a 5L mini keg, which more breweries are starting to produce, and it’s the perfect size for two people to enjoy.

 

Portable Propane Grill4. Keg-a-Que Portable Propane Grill

Tailgating brought the couple I’m buying this for together. I find it’s only fitting to get them this as their wedding present.

It’s compact enough to fit in the trunk of a car and has handles on the side for carrying around to wherever their favorite teams take them. Plus, the fun football shape makes it perfect.

 

EdgeStar 18 Bottle Wine Cooler5. EdgeStar 18-Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cooler

Nothing says love quite like wine… or a wine cooler for that matter. The last couple I’m giving a gift to is going to have their honeymoon in Napa, so what better gift than to give them a unit to properly store all of their new favorite wines?

This unit isn’t over the top big and has two different zones so they can chill both their reds and whites at the proper temperature.\

 

If you’re in panic over wedding season this year, don’t fret – there’s something out there for everyone!

Let us know in the comments what wedding gifts you are planning to give.

 

Top Commercial Products: EdgeStar Medical Freezer

EdgeStar Medical Freezer

Our #1 selling EdgeStar medical freezer is being used all over the country at leading pharmacies.  This 1.5 cu/ft vaccine freezer has the ability to hold temperatures at -20°C and -5°F.  This is important because a lot of vaccines, including the new Zostavax vaccine for shingles, need to be constantly monitored and stored at these very low temperatures.

The convenient countertop design makes this mini freezer space efficient, which is important in a pharmacy setting.  We offer this unit in white, with stainless steel handle and built-in lock.

If you are looking for a solid, dependable and space efficient medical freezer for your pharmacy, please contact us!  We would love to add your pharmacy or medical center to the list of leading facilities using our EdgeStar CMF151L medical freezer!

Ryan is the head of Business Sales for Living Direct. If you are interested in learning more about any of our commercial products or wish to make a bulk purchase from our site, you can reach Ryan at 1-800-297-6076 or contact him through this form.


4 Built-In Appliances to Replace a Trash Compactor

trash compactor

If your kitchen has a trash compactor, but you hardly ever use it, then maybe it’s time you replaced it with a different appliance. Trash compactors are typically 15 inches wide, but make sure to measure your model and the opening it sits in before deciding on the new appliance you want to exchange it with.

To help get you started, I’ve put together a list of appliances that are 15” wide and could easily replace your outdated trash compactor. Start dreaming of the ways you can upgrade your kitchen:

Wine Cooler

Like all under counter appliances, you will want to make sure you are purchasing a wine cooler that is specifically designed for built-in purposes. A freestanding unit should not be built into cabinetry because it will overheat and stop working, and in the process, your wine could be ruined.

A wine cooler will definitely upgrade the look of your kitchen. There are many different designs you can choose from, but all of them are sleek and sure to be a conversation piece amongst visiting family and friends.

Aside from the aesthetics, if you enjoy wine, then having a wine refrigerator in your kitchen is convenient. You can easily pair a wine with your dinner, entertain guests or enjoy a glass after a long day at work. The wine will be perfectly chilled to your preferred temperature and waiting for you when you want it.

Some of my favorite 15”, built-in wine coolers:

Koldfront Built-In Wine CoolerKoldfront BWR300BL Built-In Wine Cooler

- Single zone wine cooler

- Holds up to 30 bottles

- Temperature range of 40 – 65 degrees F

- LED display & interior lighting

- Slide out wire shelves

 

EdgeStar Built-In Wine CoolerEdgeStar CWR261DZ Built-In Wine Cooler

- Dual zone wine cooler

- Holds up to 26 bottles

- Temperature ranges:
Lower zone – 40-54 degrees F
Upper zone – 54-64 degrees F

- Slide out steel-trimmed, wooden shelves

 

Vinotemp Wine CoolerVinotemp VT-26 Built-In Wine Cooler

- Single zone wine cooler

- Holds up to 26 bottles

- Temperature range: 45-65 degrees F

- Has a lock for keeping your wine secure

- Slide out wood shelves

 

Beverage Refrigerator

What’s great about having a beverage fridge in your home is you’ll free up space in your kitchen refrigerator. Sodas and beers can take up quite a bit of shelf space that could instead be used for more groceries or leftovers from dinner.

Having a designated fridge for your drinks will also make it easier when entertaining because guests will know exactly where to go for a refill. It also means your refrigerator door won’t be constantly opened and closed, causing temperature fluctuations, which can cause some food items, like eggs, to go bad.

My favorite 15”, built-in beverage fridges:

EdgeStar Beverage FridgeEdgeStar CBR900SS Beverage Fridge

- Holds up to 84 cans

- Temperature range: 38-50 degrees F

- Has a lock for keeping beverages secure

- Slide out coated wire shelves

- Blue LED interior lighting

 

Avanti Undercounter Beverage CenterAvanti BCA1501SS Beverage Center

- Holds up to 72 cans

- Temperature range: 34-43 degrees F

- Has a lock for keeping beverages secure

- 2 slide out glass shelves, 1 slide out wire shelf, 1 basket

- LED interior lighting

 

Marvel Beverage Fridge & Wine CoolerMarvel Beverage and Wine Fridge

- Holds up to 60 cans & 4 wine bottles

- Temperature range: 40-65 degrees F

- Slide out maple-trimmed, wire shelves

- Double pane, tinted, UV-resistant glass door

- An alarm if the temperature is higher or lower than desired point for an extended time

 

Refrigerator

Maybe instead of drinks, it’s too much food that’s making it difficult to close your kitchen refrigerator door. An under counter refrigerator might be the answer to your problems then.

Beverage fridges and regular fridges have a similar temperature range, but beverage fridges might get warmer than you need for storing food. Also, many refrigerators have door storage and adjustable shelves, which most beverage refrigerators don’t have.

Here are my favorite built-in refrigerators:

Avanti Built-In RefrigeratorAvanti OBC32SS Outdoor Refrigerator

- 3.2 cubic foot capacity

- Reinforced for outdoor use, but can be used indoors

- Comes with attachable caster wheels for easy mobility

- Full range thermostat

- Reversible, stainless steel door

 

Marvel Built-In RefrigeratorMarvel 30AR Refrigerator

- 3.0 cubic foot capacity

- 3 adjustable, chrome-plated wire shelves & 3 door shelves

- Auto-defrost

- Filler kit allows usage in 18-inch wide opening

- Leveling legs

 

Ice Maker

Large families, or those that just really love ice, might find that their refrigerator ice maker can’t keep up with their needs. Luckily, you can get a separate, larger ice maker than can be built into your kitchen cabinetry.

There are quite a few different under counter ice makers available on the market and most make what is known as clear ice, meaning it contains no impurities; it’s restaurant quality. However, the Scotsman that I’ve included in my list of favorite built-in ice machines makes what is known as nugget ice or, as most people call it, Sonic ice. That’s right; you can get delicious Sonic ice right in your home!

My favorite built-in ice makers:

EdgeStar Built-In Ice MakerEdgeStar Clear Ice Maker

- Makes up to 45 pounds of ice a day

- Stores up to 25 pounds of ice

- Removable ice bin

- Gravity drain line

- Insulated ice storage

 

Danby Ice MakerDanby Clear Ice Maker

- Makes up to 32 pounds of ice a day

- Stores up to 25 pounds of ice

- Removable ice bin

- Built-in drain pump

- Produces bullet-shaped ice cubes

 

Scotsman Sonic Ice MakerScotsman Nugget Ice Maker

- Makes up to 125 pounds of ice a day

- Stores up to 22 pounds of ice

- Produces “Sonic” ice

- Drain pump with 10 foot pump line

- Uses 40% less energy than standard machines

 

So, now that you know about the variety of built-in appliances available, it’s time for you to update and upgrade your kitchen by getting rid of that outdated, unused trash compactor. Fall in love with your kitchen all over again with any one of these amazing appliances!

 

Bread Machine Cranberry Wheat Recipe

Cranberry Wheat Bread

I got a bread machine a few weeks ago and have been on a bread-making craze ever since.  With everyone trying to eat healthier these days, it is great because I can control the ingredients that I put in the bread. Now I don’t have to worry about preservatives and I can modify recipes to make them lower carb or higher in fiber, etc.  There is just no end to what you can do and let’s face it, homemade bread just tastes better!

I tend to make several loaves over the weekend, one to start eating off of immediately and the rest I freeze so that I have them on hand as needed and don’t have to worry about running out and having to get store bought bread. The latest, and by far my favorite recipe so far, is a Cranberry Wheat Bread.  I use honey or agave nectar instead of sugar and apple sauce instead of butter.

Bread Machine Cranberry Wheat Bread

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
2 tablespoons apple sauce
2 cups bread flour
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients (except cranberries) in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select “Sweet Bread” cycly; press Start.
  2. Add the cranberries about 5 minutes before the kneading cycle has finished.

If you don’t have a bread maker, my favorite would have to be the CBK-200 Cuisinart 2-pound Convection Bread Maker. It has a mix-in option that tells you when it’s time to add in the cranberries (or whatever mix in you want), so you don’t have to guess. Makes it super easy!

Photo credit goes to Kathy.

Wine Coolers 101

built-in wine cooler

Mention a wine cooler, and my mind wanders to the French countryside, maybe say… Burgundy. A beautiful wine country, just south of Paris, Burgundy grows fine grapes to make exceptional Pinot Noir red wines and Chardonnay white wines. Yes, I have actually visited there once.

A bit of brie, a picnic basket and a beautiful smile….ok, I have to get back to work!

EdgeStar carries a wide variety of wine coolers, both the thermoelectric, or TE coolers, and the more familiar compressor-based ones. It is very important to note that no matter which one you choose certain guidelines must be observed.

The first item of note is which way the door will swing. Factory configurations usually have it set to open from left to right,  and occasionally, customers want the door to swing the other way, from right to left. Happily, the vast majority of the EdgeStar wine cooler line allows the customer to do exactly that.

The next consideration will be placement of the unit. Most customers prefer to place the unit in such a fashion that it appears to have been built in, under a counter, or in a cabinet. The compressor-based units are preferred candidates, because they vent from the front at the bottom of the cooler. With that in mind, I present a bit of advice for the value minded customer that purchases one of our fine EdgeStar thermoelectric coolers to reproduce the exact same look in their kitchen…

The thermoelectric series of wine coolers are an excellent product, but if you build them in, or put them under a counter, they will overheat, and will live a very short life.

This is due to the fact that they generate a LOT of heat from the back of the unit, and although the cooling is fan forced, they absolutely must be installed in a free standing environment. We mean it, folks, no joke.

Leveling is very important when installing one of our wine coolers, especially the compressor-based ones. An unbalanced compressor will be noisy and will fail early. Use a bubble level to make sure the leveling is done correctly, and try to use a level that has a magnetic strip attached, that’s handy for not only horizontal level, but vertical leveling as well.

Regular cleaning of both the intake and exhaust grills on both types of coolers is also very important, I recommend doing a complete cleaning at least once every 6 months. Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment for best results.

Last but not least, I recommend using a surge protector on all of our wine coolers, but especially the thermoelectric units. Most kitchens these days have outlets that are GFCI protected (think wine cooler falling in the pool), but not surge protected. Surge protectors can be picked up at most retail electronic stores at reasonable prices. The really good protectors will stop passing power when they are worn out.

That’s all for this week. See you later!

Dave

Portable Dishwasher Basics

Portable Dishwasher

Ah, the portable dishwasher…that lowly box that resides on your countertop. Daily, it does it’s job without complaint, swallowing whole dirty dishes, and returns them sparkling clean in just an hour’s time. Over time though, your machine might start to seem sluggish, so here are some tips to help you get the most out of your dishwasher.

 

How to Help Your Portable Dishwasher:

- Pre-wash those dishes! I know it’s easier to rinse it off a little bit, and shove it in the washer, but if you can get just about all of the food particles off the plate, it’ll clean much easier.

- Use a good quality detergent. Cheap detergents contain lots of filler, mostly silicates, which scrub the dishes, but do nothing to disinfect. I’m not partial when it comes to brands, but Cascade ™ is a proven detergent, and tough to beat among liquids and powders.

- Make sure the incoming water is sufficiently heated. 118 degrees F-125 degrees F is a good range. Low temp water will not sanitize during the rinse cycle, and detergents don’t work well in cold water. They tend to clump up and leave residue on dishes.

- Run an empty cycle once a month with a 50% solution of vinegar and water through the washer. Hard water clogs spray arms and filters, and coats the inside of the wash chamber, making it tough to properly clean those dishes. By the way, most dishwashers today have stainless steel interiors and will easily discolor, so don’t use harsh chemicals as they can permanently damage the finish.

 

That’s all for this week, follow these tips, and let your dishwasher work harder, so you don’t have to!

Dave’s Tip of The Week: Clean your appliance’s air and water filters on a regular basis; your appliance will thank you for it.